Reporting Jessica Kartalija
WASHINGTON (WJZ)—Fifteen days into the government shutdown, thousands of Maryland workers are now going into a third week without pay and really feeling the pinch.
Jessica Kartalija spoke to a Maryland family struggling to get by without a paycheck.
It’s incredibly quiet on Capitol Hill. WJZ spoke with one man from Maryland who says he’s still coming to work, although he’s not getting paid. He says he’s afraid of what could happen if he doesn’t show up.
Fifteen days into the government shutdown and Roger Ryan still punches in everyday.
“I get up to go to work knowing that I’m not gonna get paid, and I have no idea two weeks from now if I’m going to be able to make my mortgage,” Ryan said.
Maryland has the second highest amount of government employees per capita.
As a communications officer for Capitol Police in Washington, Ryan is not getting paid but is hoping he eventually will.
“If I don’t go in, I think that would be an excuse to be let go. I’m considered essential, whatever that means,” Ryan said.
The exact number of furloughed workers is unknown, but in the state of Maryland, approximately 315,000 people work for the federal government.
The government standoff is costing taxpayers millions. Ryan and his wife Beverly say the shutdown has led to mounting credit card bills and having to withdraw money from Beverly’s IRA to pay them.
“My credit cards have maxed ’cause of the gas. I have to decide do I put gas in the car or do I save it for a bill,” Ryan said. “If I pay the bill, I can’t put gas in the car to get to work.”
Some 24,000 furloughed employees from Washington and Maryland have already reportedly filed for unemployment.
While polls show approval ratings down for President Barack Obama and Democrats, Republican disapproval ratings have plummeted in the past two weeks.
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